Certain general ideas come up repeatedly, in various guises, when contemporary poetry is discussed. One of these might be described as the question of what, if anything, is our social responsibility as poets.That is, there are things writers owe the art of poetry—work, perhaps. And in a sense there are things writers owe themselves—emotional truthfulness, attention toward one’s own feelings. But what, if anything, can a poet be said to owe other people in general, considered as a community? For what (...) is the poet answerable? This is a more immediate—though more limited—way of putting the question than such familiar terms as “political poetry.”Another recurring topic is what might be called Poetry Gloom. I mean that sourness and kvetching that sometimes come into our feelings about our art: the mysterious disaffections, the querulous doubts, the dispirited mood in which we ask ourselves, has contemporary poetry gone downhill, does anyone at all read it, has poetry become a mere hobby, do only one’s friends do it well, and so forth. This matter often comes up in the form of questions about the “popularity” or “audience” of poetry.Possibly the appetite for poetry really was greater in the good old days, in other societies. After the total disaster at Syracuse, when the Athenians, their great imperialist adventure failed, were being massacred, or branded as slaves with the image of a horse burned into the forehead, a few were saved for the sake of Euripides, whose work, it seems, was well thought of by the Syracusans. “Many of the captives who got safe back to Athens,” writes Plutarch,Are said, after they reached home, to have gone and made their acknowledgments to Euripides, relating how some of them had been released from their slavery by teaching what they could remember of his poems and others, when straggling after the fight, had been relieved with meat and drink for repeating some of his lyrics. Robert Pinsky teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book of poems, History of My Heart, was awarded the William Carlos Williams Prize. His other books include Sadness and Happiness, An Explanation of America, and a volume of criticism, The Situation of Poetry. Mindwheel, his narrative entertainment for computer, has been issued by Brøderbund Software. (shrink)
The place of poetry in modern democracy is no place, according to conventional wisdom. The poet, we hear, is a casualty of mass entertainment and prosaic public culture, banished to the artistic sidelines to compose variations on insipid themes for a dwindling audience. Robert Pinsky, however, argues that this gloomy diagnosis is as wrongheaded as it is familiar. Pinsky, whose remarkable career as a poet itself undermines the view, writes that to portray poetry and democracy as enemies is (...) to radically misconstrue both. The voice of poetry, he shows, resonates with profound themes at the very heart of democratic culture.There is no one in America better to write on this topic. One of the country's most accomplished poets, Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented two terms as America's Poet Laureate and led the immensely popular multimedia Favorite Poem Project, which invited Americans to submit and read aloud their favorite poems. Pinsky draws on his experiences and on characteristically sharp and elegant observations of individual poems to argue that expecting poetry to compete with show business is to mistake its greatest democratic strength--its intimate, human scale--as a weakness.As an expression of individual voice, a poem implicitly allies itself with ideas about individual dignity that are democracy's bedrock, far more than is mass participation. Yet poems also summon up communal life.. Even the most inward-looking work imagines a reader. And in their rhythms and cadences poems carry in their very bones the illusion and dynamic of call and response. Poetry, Pinsky writes, cannot help but mediate between the inner consciousness of the individual reader and the outer world of other people. As part of the entertainment industry, he concludes, poetry will always be small and overlooked. As an art--and one that is inescapably democratic--it is massive and fundamental. (shrink)
The discrete light-cone quantization (DLCQ) of a supersymmetric gauge theory in 1+1 dimensions is discussed, with particular attention given to the inclusion of the gauge zero mode. Interestingly, the notorious “zero-mode” problem is now tractable because of special supersymmetric cancellations. In particular, we show that anomalous zero-mode contributions to the currents are absent, in contrast to what is observed in the nonsupersymmetric case. An analysis of the vacuum structure is provided by deriving the effective quantum mechanical Hamiltonian of the gauge (...) zero mode. It is shown that the inclusion of the zero modes of the adjoint scalars and fermions is crucial for probing the phase properties of the vacua. We find that the ground-state energy is zero and thus consistent with unbroken supersymmetry and conclude that the light-cone Fock vacuum is unchanged with or without the presence of matter fields. (shrink)
To prepare for the Other: this is the mission of ethics. Future Present: Ethics and/as Science Fiction fuses contemporary philosophy from Heidegger, Derrida, Levinas, and others with cultural texts preoccupied with the future arrival of an Other: science fiction. We peer through the lens of science fiction with the help of H. G. Wells, Walt Disney, Star Trek, David Cronenberg, Philip K. Dick, and many others, in search of a theory of ethics that leaves open the possibility of the Other (...) and encourages empathy, which is necessary for survival in our multicultural world. (shrink)
Valerie Tiberius’s Moral Psychology: An Introduction is a gem. Clearly and crisply drawing on empirical and non-empirical work in philosophy and psychology, Tiberius illuminates the many ways in which the issues central to moral psychology arise in and bear on normative ethics, meta-ethics, and the study of agency and responsibility. Tiberius articulates deep debates, complex concepts and rationales, intricate empirical data points, and obscure assumptions with an enviable ease. Further, though the book is pitched in a manner that is (...) accessible to novices, it offers experts an opportunity to see their discipline through a very informed and distinctive lens. In particular, Tiberius imparts a rich and robust picture of value theory that can overlay the expert’s own and thereby enrich the concerns and problems that make up its subject matter. I hope that through this review I can add to the book’s excellence in two ways.First, one of the most helpful things to appear in the book are its g .. (shrink)
L’ouvrage que publie Valérie Beaudouin, tiré de sa thèse soutenue en 2000, se signale par de nombreuses qualités, parmi lesquelles on distinguera l’ampleur de la matière étudiée, l’originalité de la démarche et des méthodes, l’intérêt neuf et majeur de maints résultats, le renouvellement méthodologique qu’il apporte dans le domaine de la métrique française. L’auteur s’est proposé de décrire le vers du théâtre classique, en s’appuyant sur un corpus constitué de la totalité des pièces de Cornei..
Valerie Steele, conservatrice du musée du Fashion Institute of Technology de New York et rédactrice en chef d'une revue de grande qualité, Fashion Theory : the journal of Dress, Body and Culture, est une référence très importante dans le domaine de l'histoire de la mode. Ce livre (traduit de l'américain) ne répond que très imparfaitement à son titre ambitieux « se vêtir » , qui est aussi celui d'une collection (deux ouvrages déjà parus, l'un sur le Moyen Âge (...) et l'autre sur le XVIIIe.. (shrink)
Depuis les travaux pionniers des années 1970, les domestiques étaient restés en marge des problématiques de l'histoire du travail et de l'histoire des femmes. Et pourtant, l'évolution de la condition ancillaire décline un ensemble de questions essentielles à la compréhension du tissu social et de la place des femmes sur le marché du travail. La recherche de Valérie Piette sur la Belgique du XIXe siècle en est une brillante démonstration. Elle repose sur une exploration méthodique des ..
It's very interesting to see neurophysiological evidence brought to bear on the puzzling question of conscious experience. Many have observed that information-processing models of cognition seem to leave consciousness untouched; it is natural to hope that turning to neurophysiology might lead us to the Holy Grail. Still, I think there are reasons to be skeptical. There are good reasons to suppose that neurophysiological investigation contributes to cognitive explanation at best in virtue of constraining the information-processing structure of cognition. Of course (...) this is a very large and significant role for it to play, but it may be over-optimistic to suppose that it can play some further explanatory role, taking us where information-processing theories cannot. If so, then neurophysiological accounts will be no more and no less successful at dealing with consciousness than information-processing accounts are. (shrink)
Dans le monde philosophique anglophone, Elizabeth Anscombe fait déjà partie des références incontournables. Son nom est généralement associé à celui de Wittgenstein dont elle fut l’un des principaux éditeurs et traducteurs. Mais elle est aussi l’auteure reconnue de deux contributions majeures : Intention , à l’origine du renouveau contemporain de la philosophie de l’action, et « Modern moral philosophy » , qui ouvrit la voie au retour de l’éthique des vertus. La philos..